Real Estate Business Incubators: What they are and why you should care about them

You may have heard the terms 'business incubator', 'business accelerator', 'venture capitalist' or 'real estate business incubator' before. But what do they mean?

Business Incubator: Also known simply as incubators, business incubators are programs that help small start-up companies overcome the initial challenges of starting and growing a business. Start-ups usually spend 1 to 2 years in incubators before they ‘graduate’. Business incubators provide work space and services such as mentoring, networking opportunities, finding investors and much more. Many business incubators are government funded. This means companies that are accepted into incubation programs are often provided grants and receive workspace and services at the incubator for a subsidized cost.

Accelerators: A type of business incubator. Accelerators accept companies in ‘classes’ where a group of companies will go through the accelerator’s program together. Accelerator programs tend to be shorter than normal incubators, usually running for 6 to 8 months. Unlike traditional business incubation programs, accelerators often take equity in exchange for their services and workspace.

Venture Capitalists: Companies or individuals who invest in other companies in exchange for equity. Many venture capitalists (VCs) invest in start-ups going through incubator programs and some act as mentors at incubators. Some VCs sponsor, partially own, or open their own business accelerators.

Real Estate Business Incubator: An incubator or accelerator program that assists real estate technology start-ups and other start-ups wanting to do business with real estate brokerages and professionals.

There are over 1000 incubators in the US. Six of these incubators are real estate business incubators specializing in assisting companies build real estate products and services. These 5 incubators are:

So what should you do?

  1. Become familiar with companies going through real estate incubators, as their technologies, like ours (shameless plug), will help shape the real estate world of tomorrow. 
  2. Browse through lists of companies that have graduated from these incubators. These companies have proven themselves to investors and more importantly, have technologies that can give your brokerage the upper hand.
  3. Attend demo days! Demo days are events where incubated companies show off their products. Not only are demo days exciting (start-ups battle for funding from VCs and other investors), but they are a great way to learn about the next wave of real estate technologies and network with the real estate tech scene.

As a tech company, Lone Wolf is proud to integrate with other companies that also lead innovation in real estate. Lone Wolf currently integrates with over 20 partners including DocuSign, Dotloop and SkySlope to provide a complete technology solution. The following integration partners are graduates from incubation programs:

  • Lumentus Social, a graduate from REach®’s incubation program, creates content curated for real estate professionals and helps schedule posts to your social media channels and distribute content to your agents, team and offices to post on their social platforms.
  • SentriLock®, a graduate from REach®’s incubation program, a Bluetooth enabled lockbox accessible through its SentriSmart™ Mobile App that helps make showing and selling properties safe and efficient.
  • Reesio, a graduate from both the 500 Startups and Acceleprise accelerator programs, is a transaction management system that helps centralize, streamline and manage transaction data through your computer, tablet or mobile device. 

Know of any other great real estate companies that have been a part of an incubation program? Let us know in the comment section below!